Increasingly, experimental street artists are being drawn to places such as Shoreditch where, through their art display at street level, they can gain exposure. I found this doorway illustration by chance in Shoreditch High Street under one of the bridges. Tucked away in a small cul-de-sac it almost feels that it is hanging in its own bespoke gallery.
Entertainment has been badly hit by the pandemic, with cinemas sitting deserted on the high street. In photographing the Arthouse cinema I looked to capture its defiance in keeping the lights ablaze, reminding us of the good times and keeping our spirits uplifted. To enhance the drama of the shot, I looked to highlight the key architectural features of the cinema while deepening the shadows in the surrounding buildings.
As Shoreditch becomes ever-more the primary magnet for street and graffiti artists in East London, the creative bar gets ever higher. Whitby Street is one such sought-after location. In the heart of Shoreditch, Whitby Street buildings offer wonderfully expansive blank canvas walls on which artists can create and display their work. Potential shots for the photographer lie around every street corner.
Light, shade and Silhouettes are the lifeblood of street photographers. Winter, autumn and spring when the sun is low in the sky can present great opportunities for graphic images, vast areas of negative space or interesting geometry either as a backdrop or focus of interest for the photograph. When the light aligns with structures such as tunnels and covered walkways, ever more interesting juxtapositions become possible.
I find shadows intriguing. Many times, they are more interesting than the subjects that create them. Particularly when the light is low, distorted shadows can lose their recognisability and take on multiple meanings. This shot utilised both shadows and street art to create an interesting juxtaposition.
Part of Brick Lane’s appeal is the art school in the area. This ensures a lively vibe, regular art shows and the general lively to and fro of students. Being a student in the time of Covid must be challenging. Social distancing is not exactly the first thing students think of when leaving home for their first foray in the outside world.
Bridges can be a great location for street photography. They often act as a magnet for shadows and interesting silhouettes. London Bridge is a maze of interconnecting tunnels, pathways and staircases. It is also nearly always bustling, with a pool of people coming and going that are potential subjects.
London Bridge is a haphazard jungle of intersecting roads, tunnels, station entrances, a bus terminal and hidden walkways. I love it. On bright sunny days, shafts of light cut across its many junctions, creating constantly changing shadows and silhouettes. This particular shot involved standing in the middle of traffic risking life and limb. I felt it was worth the risk!
Walking around the centre of Shoreditch including the tunnel that links the two parts of the city separated by the Overground, a steady stream of runners offered potentially interesting subject matter. I noticed there was some great light at the Southend of the tunnel, so rather than go hunt for my subject, I decided to fish, finding a good spot to line up a suitable frame and wait for the right moment.
London Bridge can be a great place to capture long shadows juxtaposed against some dramatic sculptures and architecture. In winter months the sun tends to cut across the bridge from the south without being disrupted by tall buildings. This shot happened in slow motion. I saw the opportunity and took a sequence of shots, each time getting several steps closer to the main subject until he caught my eye.
Street photography can be an unpredictable pursuit. One minute you are walking around the streets in an area, with nothing catching your eye or even sometimes resembling a potential shot. It is all about capturing the moment. If you have to waste precious seconds changing lenses, focussing or adjusting your camera settings, the moment can disappear. This scene of an East London carwash was a mix of serenity and reflexive reaction.